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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I noticed yesterday that my 2012 Volt with 34,000 miles has cracks in the sidewalls of two tires near the bead. One of them is slowly leaking air through the crack (I noticed the issue when I heard air coming out).

I brought the car into my dealer this morning and they first tried to tell me I'd have to call Goodyear for help. I showed them the warranty booklet that says at least 20% of the tire cost and all of the labor to replace them should be covered under warranty. They seemed skeptical but said they'd look into it. They then seemed surprised I was going to leave the car with them, but it's clearly unsafe to drive with cracked sidewalls (they could blow at any time), so I need to get them replaced no matter what.

I've searched the forum and seen several threads about sidewall cracks and blowouts with the stock Goodyear tires. But, it's unclear if GM has been covering the issue. Has anyone else had this covered under warranty? I really think GM should replace the tires for free, since they should have lasted 50-60k miles and this is a manufacturing defect.
 

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In addition to what you have done, I'd contact your Volt Advisor. On each tire is a year/week they were manufactured. It's usually found in a "circle" and loook like 11/26 which would equal 2011 the 26th week.

Know when and how old your tires are is important in getting to the bottom of this. Good luck and I'be be looking to buy new tires ASAP regardless of any comp from GY. Safety can't be ignored.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I left the car at the dealer (had to rent a car to get to work) because I consider it unsafe to drive. So, I can't check the tire manufacture date. I do know that the tires are the 94V variant, not the 93H variant that the 2011s had (and which had even more manufacturing defect issues).

I called the Volt Advisor team (don't know if I have a specific advisor) and they said they'd open a case, but couldn't do much else. They were as helpful as possible, but they can't see the tires or make warranty coverage determinations, so I understand there isn't much they can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm pretty good about keeping them at 38PSI or slightly above (1-2lbs). That's according to a good hand-held pressure gauge, not the TPMS (which always reads higher than true in my car).
 

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Many owners have reported that using 38PSI is causing tire problems (premature/uneven wear, sidewall punctures, leaks, etc). The popular consensus is between 42PSI and 46PSI
 

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The moral of this story is to keep an eye on the tires and not take them for granted regardless of their age. It is good that you noticed the issue and you did the right thing by refusing to drive the car with tires in such condition. Hopefully you get a new set and GM takes your case into account.

I kept the tires of my 2012 Volt at 38 psi cold as indicated by the TPMS and a digital gauge, but with 22,000 miles it seems that the tires are under-inflated as they are wearing more on the outside parts of the thread. I have started inflating them to 40 psi cold. So far there does not appear to be cracking on the outside walls, but I have not had a chance to inspect the inside ones.

One thing I wonder, do you often leave your car out in the sun? Do the tires look brownish rather than black?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have read on here about better wear/mpg when using higher pressures. But, I'm not sure if people are basing those "higher pressures" on the TPMS, which always shows high in my car (and therefore could also read high for others' cars). So, if I inflate to 38PSI cold, my TPMS says the tires have 40-41PSI. Without knowing the reference gauge people are using when they say they inflate over the recommended 38PSI, I'm reluctant to do so.

The car is garaged when it's home, and parked in a semi-shaded outside lot at my workplace. I haven't noticed them being discolored.
 

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I have a slit in the sidewall when I ran over some debris on the freeway. But no air is leaking out of it. Tried to get the dealer to replace it, but tire warranty clearly states that there is no road hazard warranty.
 

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The tires will be replaced. Defects described are warranted with the tire manufacturer. There should be no charge as the dealer should be re-reimbursed thru GM. GM will have the supplier cover the costs. This is a MVSS issue.
(Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) GM is liable if you have a tire failure resulting in death or injury. Smart move to leave the vehicle. Dealer failed in his duty to hold the car. You should get 4 new tires no charge.
 

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I use a Digital Tire Pressure Gauge to check tire pressure. My TPMS system almost exactly matches what my tire guage specifies.
 

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I have a slit in the sidewall when I ran over some debris on the freeway. But no air is leaking out of it. Tried to get the dealer to replace it, but tire warranty clearly states that there is no road hazard warranty.
Sidewall damage is serious! Replace that tire. Low cost replacement Goodyears can be bought at Walmart.
Knowledge of the defect puts you in a bad legal position if it blows out causing injury to anyone.
 

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Apparently GM/Goodyear distinguish between tires with sidewall cracks that are flat and those that are not. I suppose after a flat it's hard to tell whether damage was from the flat or not. So getting them to the dealer now was a good move.

At about 30K miles I noticed cracks in mine very near where the tire seats into the wheel. The odd thing was, all my tires exhibited this cracking (some worse than others) and all the cracks where on the side facing into the wheel well. No cracks on the side facing out. Because of that, I suspect a mounting method may be the cause. The cracks where so close to the wheel bead, they could have been easily missed.

DSC07446.jpg DSC07445.jpg DSC07444.jpg DSC07447.jpg

I used a flashlight to carefully examine each tire off the car and circled the cracks with a silver sharpie then took them to my dealer. They replaced all four, no fuss. Just the opposite, they made some special pads to avoid marring my wheels when replacing the tires. The dealer was awesome as were the GM Volt Advisors who were also involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My tires definitely did not get sliced by anything (no road hazard). They're both cracking near the bead (area where tire and rim meet), similar to the above pics, but not that bad yet. Though one is leaking out of the crack, they have not "gone flat" yet.

I haven't heard from the dealer yet, but I'll post what their answer is. Based on my initial conversation with them I'm not very confident that they understand this is a defect with the tires and that it poses a serious safety risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wouldn't want to risk ignoring the cracks, especially with the large number of threads on sidewall blowouts on this forum. Plus, the cracks in my tires aren't fine like the tirerack pictures shows. They're more like the ones shown in post #13 above. One of the tires was actually leaking through the crack, so that one needed to be changed no matter what.

The dealer left me a message that they changed both tires and are covering part of the cost. Won't know until the morning how much they're charging, or if they'll cover the cost of my rental car (they normally do for warranty work).
 

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Tire cracking is not inherently dangerous or a safety factor and may not be anything more than cosmetic.

I think you should take to a Goodyear dealer ask them if it is a problem. They would do the warranty on them directly anyway.
I could see white nylon fabric or whatever through the cracks in mine. Much more than cosmetic surface checking, you could stick pennies in mine.
 

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I could see white nylon fabric or whatever through the cracks in mine. Much more than cosmetic surface checking, you could stick pennies in mine.
And how would you know that???...:rolleyes::)
Seems like operator error to me...I can see the GM service manual now...:)
Problem: User is sticking pennies in cracks in tires.
Solution: Don't stick pennies in tire cracks...:cool:
 

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And how would you know that???...:rolleyes::)
Seems like operator error to me...I can see the GM service manual now...:)
Problem: User is sticking pennies in cracks in tires.
Solution: Don't stick pennies in tire cracks...:cool:
I wanted to accessorize with my penny loafers...
 

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The tires will be replaced. Defects described are warranted with the tire manufacturer. There should be no charge as the dealer should be re-reimbursed thru GM. GM will have the supplier cover the costs. This is a MVSS issue.
(Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) GM is liable if you have a tire failure resulting in death or injury. Smart move to leave the vehicle. Dealer failed in his duty to hold the car. You should get 4 new tires no charge.
I would find it very interesting if they did cover sidewall cracks.

Most tire companies and installers have a hard line that any sidewall defect is not covered regardless of workmanship. Quite frustrating.

If they didn't every tire I ever had to replace could have been replaced under warranty.

I have never had a tire fail due to wear or punctures in the tread.

Sad part is a little more antioxidant would stop this issue.
 
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